D&D Essentials Kit Offers a New Place to Start - Page 4
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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoonSong View Post
    I thought they had Targets in Canada. At the very least you should be able to get it shipped to you.
    All Targets closed 2 years ago after only a year or two of business. I just checked to see the shipping cost to Canada (@Mercador lives in the same city as I) and its about 30$ for standard shipping. The produce itself is sold at 34 CAD, so I guess I'll wait for the Amazon release :P

  2. #32
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    There is a YouTube interview about the essentials kit. It is one of the named Wizards staff members, I cannot think of right now. It talks about making the sidekicks easy in the boxed set.

  3. #33
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    Looking forward to this now, especially the sandbox adventures. Exactly how I like to run my games, though I am just as likely to put more quests out there. I always deal the players rumours/hooks/quests and let them choose.

    I was interested in sidekicks, but seems to basically work how I have been doing them anyway. Just give the NPCs, you know, the NPC stats! Anyway, interested to see how they advance at least.

    BUT, here in Australia, I guess I can't get in on this for some time. Kinda crappy you have to put up with all the buzz for 3 months before having a chance. Quite happy for WotC to expand their product, but being exclusive is very crappy. Also not very supportive of those FLGS that they have been good at doing til now. Also, this makes this a U.S.A only kind of deal and people like myself across the world are kinda sick of U.S.A-first sentiment. It is a pity WotC has bought into that.
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenmarable View Post
    Fun little story
    I could totally see the sequence, you should write books if you don't already.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoonSong View Post
    I thought they had Targets in Canada. At the very least you should be able to get it shipped to you.
    Quote Originally Posted by vincegetorix View Post
    All Targets closed 2 years ago after only a year or two of business. I just checked to see the shipping cost to Canada (@Mercador lives in the same city as I) and its about 30$ for standard shipping. The produce itself is sold at 34 CAD, so I guess I'll wait for the Amazon release :P
    If I remember correctly, it was in 2015 that they went down, what a retail disaster...

    But yeah, 30$ shipping fees for a 34$ product is a bit overkill. Let's hope Amazon will get some next September or I'll just pay the Imaginaire rate

  5. #35
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    I remember the first starter set I got. It was in the 90s. It was the AD&D starter that came with an audio CD of kids playing a sample game and some tracks for the adventures. I think it came with 3 scenarios. A typical dungeon, haunted mansion and something else. Basic rule books for players and DM and a monster manual. I subjected all my cousins to this game lol. I do wish it would have come with rules for 1 on 1 play cause that was all I had. We made it work though.

  6. #36
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    Picked it up this evening.

    There is no disputing that it is an amazing value for $25.

    Quick comparison to the Starter Set, to which it will inevitably compared:

    The rulebook is similar to the one included in the Starter Set, but it's an improvement - most significantly because it includes rules for character creation and adds the bard (in addition to the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard). Race options are same as Starter Set.

    It also offers two archetype options for each class (Starter set had only 1 per class):
    Bard - Lore or Valor
    Cleric - Life or War
    Fighter - Champion or Eldritch Knight
    Rogue - Thief or Arcane Trickster
    Wizard - Evoker or Transmuter

    The Starter Set contained six background options (Acolyte, Criminal, Folk Hero, Noble, Sage, or Soldier). Folk Hero and Noble are absent here, and Entertainer has been added.

    Poster map, DMs screen, quest cards, condition cards, magic items cards, combat guide cards are all new and awesome additions.

    More dice - an extra D20 for advantage/disadvantage rolls, and 4 D6s

    Magic item selection I think is slightly better/more interesting that the Starter Set.

    The Starter Set did include a broader and more classic selection of monsters & stat blocks (the Essentials Kit is missing staples like goblin, zombie, skeleton, owlbear, bandit, mage, and others).

    In addition to the in-package material, you're also getting the DNDBeyond version of Dragon of Icespire Peak as well as three additional DNDBeyond adventures: Storm Lord's Wrath (level 7), Sleeping Dragon's Wake (level 9), and Divine Contention (level 11). These are not yet accessible on DNDBeyond, which says they "will be written" by Shawn Merwin, James Introcaso, and Will Doyle (who are all generally great, so high hopes there). PLUS 50% off the DNDBeyond PHB.

    The included "rules" for playing one-on-one have either been over-hyped by WoTC or blown out of proportion by RPG press and commentators. It's literally "give them a sidekick and take some monsters out of encounters". There's like two pages of material devoted to this "system" - and 75% of that is stablocks for sidekicks. Which frankly makes sense. We already know how to play one-on-one and people have been doing so for 40+ years.

    I've read 1/3rd of the adventure. Will need to consider it further, but my initial impression is that LMoP is superior. LMoP offers a mini-campaign that somehow caught lighting in a bottle and is still a near-perfect first experience. Dragon of Icespire Peak is a loosely connected series of one-shots of varying quality (none of the quests I've read so far a bad, but some are certainly better than others) and length (1-4 pages each). But there is an upside - it offers and ever more casual, beer-and-pretzels style than LMoP which will be just right for some groups, and can largely be played through in what feels to me like shorter, self-contained sessions of 2-3 hours in length which I also suspect might be great for some players, and also groups whose attendees may vary week-to-week.

    Location maps in the adventure book are often printed comically small and hard to read a la Tales from the Yawning Portal. Maps themselves are simple but serviceable and in color (Chris Perkins made them). Easier to view on DNDBeyond.

    Given the sheer amount of stuff you're getting for $25, a great product.
    Last edited by Burnside; Tuesday, 25th June, 2019 at 03:19 AM.

  7. #37
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    One other note: there seems to be more of an acknowledgement by the designers that a LOT of people now use minis - much more so than the Starter Kit. Just about every location gets a map with a 1 square = 5' scale.

  8. #38
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    If I remember correctly, wasn't the Essentials Kit for 4e a watered down version of the rules that signaled the end of the line and an attempt to keep it going a bit longer?
    Laugh Burnside laughed with this post

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greysword View Post
    If I remember correctly, wasn't the Essentials Kit for 4e a watered down version of the rules that signaled the end of the line and an attempt to keep it going a bit longer?
    No, on several levels.

    1st, there was no Essentials Kit.

    2nd, The Essentials line was a broadened and more varied take on the 4e mechanics, where a class might gain a passive feature instead of a power at a given level, some classes focus on basic attacks and multiple uses of a single encounter power, while others work very differently.

    3rd, the line went on after the Essentials line of products had gone out and stopped being the focus, with later products being a mix of E+ (a fan term) and PHB style options, depending on what the designers felt fit best.

    4th, some of 4es best books arguably came out in this period. The point was to bring people back into the fold without creating a new edition. That didnt work, even though 4e was quite profitable. DDI by itself made money comparable to previous edition PHB sales, most years. But the community was split, and the company (rightly) believed that healing that split would make the profitability and popularity of previous editions looks quaint by comparison.
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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnside View Post
    One other note: there seems to be more of an acknowledgement by the designers that a LOT of people now use minis - much more so than the Starter Kit. Just about every location gets a map with a 1 square = 5' scale.
    They are much more easily available than they where in the 80s, I supose a combination of 3D printing and online shopping.
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